Close-up of a Calculator and Pen on a Financial Newspaper. Blue-toned.

In 2018, member states of the African Union (AU) will be funding almost 40 percent of the pan-African program budget, compared to less than 5 percent in 2015 when the initiative was launched, said Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the AU Commission.

A number of measures will be taken to strengthen overall finance and budget management accountability, said the chairperson in his New Year message later Sunday.

In January 2018, the chairperson will be submitting a progress report, setting out a number of reform implementation proposals and recommendations, for discussion by the Summit.

On the institutional building front, he said the Assembly of AU Heads of State and Government took an important decision to transform the Union into an effective and efficient institution capable of accelerating progress towards economic integration, peace, security and overall prosperity for African citizens.

In line with the decision, he recalled that he had established a Reform Implementation Unit to coordinate the implementation process.

“I am particularly pleased with the progress we are making on the “Financing the Union” agenda,” he said.

With the assumption of duty of a new Commission of the pan-African bloc, 2017 has been a particularly eventful year, said the chairperson, indicating that he has served with a diverse group of individuals over the past nine months, and achieved encouraging results.

He stated that 2017 was the year of Harnessing the Demographic Dividend through Investment in Youth, and this made it possible to renew commitments, as African states and institutions, to achieve the targets for young people, including through reducing the proportion of youth unemployment by at least two percent annually.

In adopting the AU Demographic Dividend Roadmap, member states have pledged to open up financial services for young people, promote entrepreneurship, increase investments in health, education, and create spaces for youth civic engagement and political participation, he recalled.

They further pledged to mobilize investments in sectors with the potential for high employment multiplier effects and to engage the corporate sector to encourage on-the-job training and philanthropic programs, he said. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh



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